Today is the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, the greatest battle ever fought on American soil and the defining moment in the struggle in defense of the Constitution of the United States against those who would change our form of government from what the founding fathers established into something quite different. The loss by the southern army at Gettysburg marks the moment in our history where the Constitutional protections provided to the states and the people were dealt a great defeat, leading directly to the Constitutional crisis we are experiencing today. For the past 150 years, we have seen the government “of the people, by the people, and for the people,” transform into a people “of the government, by the government, and for the government.” This is a tragedy, and is exactly what the framers of the Constitution worked so hard to prevent. Gettysburg was the moment when the design of these framers was broken and recast into a design conceived by lesser and more ambitions men who cared nothing for what the framers established as long as the their own lust for power was satisfied. July 1-3 are the dates that all Americans should remember — not as the days called by historians as the “high water mark” of the Southern Confederacy, but as the days that were the “high water mark” of the Constitutional form of government the founding fathers envisioned for the United States of America.
There are those who say that would be no United States of America today if the Confederacy had had its way. Nothing could be further from the truth, and it’s unfortunate that this is the history the north has been forcing on us for most of the last century. The United States of America as the founding fathers devised NO LONGER EXISTS.
The southern Confederacy never wanted to secede from the United States of America. It only chose that option because the northern states, which outnumbered the southern states through political wrangling (e.g. when Massachusetts split itself into two states: Maine and Massachusetts), began changing our form of government from one where the people and the states were superior to the federal government to one where the federal government was superior to the people and the states — in direct conflict with the Constitution and the intent of the founding fathers. Leaving the union was the only way the southern states could preserve the intent of the founding fathers and preserve our Constitutional way of government. Lincoln was urged to let the southern states go, but he reminded his advisors that the southern states paid most of the tariffs on foreign imports, which was the primary funding of the federal government at that time. He refused to let the southern states go for that reason. Other states had threatened to secede (New England threatened it twice over the Louisiana Purchase and the admittance of Texas into the Union), and the Supreme Court had upheld secession as legal under the constitution. Lincoln was concerned that, if the southern states left, other states might leave, and his dreams of an all-powerful central government would die unrealized. His invasion of the Confederacy while congress was out of session was declared illegal by the supreme court, leading to Lincoln suspending the supreme court for the duration of the war, along with the writ of habeas corpus, which led to him imprisoning private citizens for the duration of the war — not because of what they had done, but because of what they might do.
Let’s look at the results of the war. First, the Constitution was changed so that the Senate became elected by popular vote, rather than appointed by the States. This took the states out of their role in the affairs of the nation, which the founding fathers EXPLICITLY did not want to happen. The North knew that it was actually easier to manipulate the masses than it was the state governments, so they took the state governments out of the equation. Next, they took away the state militias and created a federal army so only the federal government could control troops. Why does it require the vote of congress to declare war in the Constitution? Because the states had to commit troops and the people had to pay for war, requiring the representatives of the states (the Senate) and the people (the House) to agree to a military undertaking. That ended with these two federal usurpations of power.
Once the states were removed from the functions of government (leaving the states little more than provinces or political districts), the checks and balances between the states, the people, and the federal government was destroyed forever. We have been left with the balance of power between the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of the Federal Government to ensure that the Federal Government is behaving itself, which is like hiring an army of criminals to police themselves.
This is what has led us to the crisis we face today. Make no mistake, the United States of America as it was defined 226 years ago is gone. What is left is an ever increasing tyrannical, unresponsive, and seemingly omnipotent form of government that has little interest in what the people want so long as the government’s lust for power and control is satisfied. The south saw this coming and tried to prevent it, but the northern war machine beat the south down and took our Constitution down with them. That is the real legacy of the War Between the States, and the Battle of Gettysburg.